Bulldogs to Compete in Field of 37 Teams
NEW HAVEN, Conn.—This Saturday, the Bulldogs will make the trip to Wisconsin to compete in the fifth-annual Wisconsin Adidas Invitational, hosted by the University of Wisconsin. The meet's site is the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country course—a world-class 6k course that tests those who undertake it with hilly terrain.
The meet is one of the largest the team participates in all year—similar to the New England Championships. Of the 37 squads entered in the race, four are Ivy League rivals—including Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, and Harvard. Yale cross country will match their muscle against these contenders in only two weeks at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships. In addition, 26 of the top 40 teams in the country are scheduled to compete.
The week after, the Northeast Regionals will take place—a meet that will include several of this week's contenders, such as No. 1 Providence, No. 4 Boston College, No. 5 Syracuse, No. 8 Stony Brook and No. 11 University of Connecticut. Yale is currently ranked at No. 13, but has a great chance to improve upon that standing this weekend. A rise in the rankings would be fitting; it was at this meet last year that the bunch catapulted to No. 22 in the nation with an overall 13th-place finish in the meet. The Bulldogs outdid seven other nationally-ranked teams in order to earn this standing.
This year, the team is coming off a successful performance at the New England Championships—in which most runners had the chance to compete in either the varsity or junior varsity race. Last week's display of strength and depth among the team will be integral if the Bulldogs are to compete this weekend with an eye to overcome its more competitive opponents.
Kira Garry—a junior who has been consistently breaking 18-minutes in previous 5k races—is likely to spearhead the squad along with senior Liana Epstein-who last competed in the Boston College Invite, placing 30th. After last week's imposing performance that showed a marked improvement over her previous races, sophomore Elizabeth McDonald will also be one to look out for. Junior Anna Demaree similarly paced herself to a new season best and the third-fastest mark on the team. Freshmen Chandler Olson and Meredith Rizzo have so far proven valuable, as well—rounding out the squad's top-five scorers last week. Junior Emily Stark will also compete in this top squad composed of the team's best athletes.
Report by Maria Seravalli '16, Yale Sports Publicity